Shorts: U.S.

Central bank nominee is Jewish

new york (jta) | President Bush’s nominee to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve Board is a Jew. Bernanke, whose full name is Ben Shalom Bernanke, would succeed Alan Greenspan, who is also Jewish.

The nomination of Bernanke now goes to the U.S. Senate. Bernanke, who has served on Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, was previously on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors. He is a Harvard graduate and has a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

‘Messianic Jewish’ scratched

new york (jta) | A phone book in New Jersey removed “messianic Jewish” synagogues from a listing of Jewish congregations. The move by the Verizon 2006 Camden County Superpages came after a complaint from a local Jewish man, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent reported.

The phone book will list the “messianic” synagogues — often linked to Jews for Jesus — under a separate heading.

Wilma prompts sukkah warning

new york (jta) | Rabbis in southern Florida advised congregants to take down their sukkahs because of Hurricane Wilma. The advisory came before the storm hit the region.

In a recorded message sent to synagogue members by telephone, Rabbi Edward Davis of Young Israel of Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale advised congregants to take down their sukkahs.

“I wanted people to maximize the time they spent in the sukkah without compromising their safety,” he said. Rabbi Pinny Andrusier, rabbi at Chabad of Southwest Broward, said his synagogue’s sukkah would remain standing.

“If God wants to take it down, that’s his business,” Andrusier said. He emphasized that if winds blew his sukkah over, it wouldn’t endanger any buildings or people.

JCF helps earthquake victims

The San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation has opened an emergency mailbox to accept donations to help the victims of the massive earthquake in South Asia.

All donations received will be forwarded to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which is working with organizations in the affected areas to provide an effective response.

If you would like to help, go to

You may also make checks payable to JCF, write “Pakistan Earthquake Relief” in the memo section and send to Earthquake Relief, JCF 121 Steuart Street San Francisco, CA 94105.

If you would like more information about how your donation will be used or how the relief efforts are progressing, please visit

AIPAC prosecutor promoted; Israeli diplomats may testify

washington (jta) | President Bush nominated the prosecutor in the AIPAC classified documents case to be deputy attorney general. Paul McNulty, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, obtained indictments this year against a former Pentagon analyst and two former senior staffers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The Pentagon analyst, Lawrence Franklin, pleaded guilty earlier this month and the two AIPAC staffers, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, are scheduled to go to trial Jan. 2. McNulty is also well known for handling a number of terrorism-related cases in his district. Bush nominated McNulty for the post last week after another nominee, Timothy Flanigan, withdrew because of questions over Flanigan’s ties with scandal-tinged lobbyist Jack Abramoff. McNulty, 47, will begin serving immediately as acting deputy attorney-general pending his approval by the Senate and will also continue for the time being as U.S. attorney in eastern Virginia.

In related news, lawyers for Rosen and Weissman filed motions made public Monday, Oct. 24, indicating they plan to subpoena the three diplomats, if necessary.

The motion indicates that because all three are out of the country or are planning to leave, it may be difficult to secure their testimony on the ex-lobbyists’ behalf.

The diplomats are not identified, but one is known to be Naor Gilon, a political officer at the Israeli embassy who allegedly received classified information in the case.

Spokesman David Siegel said this week that the embassy had just gotten notice of the defense request and that it would be reviewed. Generally, though, he said the Israeli government has promised to cooperate in the case.

U.S.-Israeli missile defense gets a boost

washington (jta) | The Senate approved almost double President Bush’s requested funding for the Arrow, a joint U.S.-Israeli anti-missile program. Israel asked the United States for close to $160 million for further development in 2006 for the Arrow, which has been tested successfully in recent years.

Bush knocked that down to $78.6 million in his budget request earlier this year, and the House of Representatives reflected that amount by approving $77.6 million in June. On Oct. 7, however, the Senate approved $143.6 million in its version of the Defense Appropriations bill. The House and Senate bills now go to conference to reconcile their differences in a final version.